Rugby in the Snow


There were two styles of Rugby played on Nov. 10 at Public School Stadium, one before the snow started (BS) and one after the sudden storm kicked into high gear (AS).

It was quite an invitation to a team of Indigenous Australians that had traveled several thousand miles to play a mostly local team of Indigenous Warriors, especially based on a feature video that was distributed in over 100 countries. But the invitation was accepted by the team from Down Under and Gallup’s Rugby maven Timaris Montano put together a group of former Gallup High players to meet the challenge.

It was more of a ‘fun’ event than an actual contest. The Australians had played together for some time, even whipping the UNM team by a score of 82-27 in decent weather. But the benefit of this inaugural meeting was twofold; to build this sport into a more widely accepted activity in this area, and also to raise more awareness of the Community Pantry and the work they do. All proceeds from this match, either monetary or in foodstuffs, went to the Pantry to help in their effort to feed those who would otherwise go hungry.

The brave souls in attendance were well-bundled against the early winter weather and attempted to encourage players from both teams to do their best.

The teams met shortly after the game at the Community Center for a Navajo Taco dinner and a chance to talk about their sport with others of a like interest. Both teams exchanged small gifts to keep the memories of this night present for a longer period of time. For the local players, it was an opportunity to again play like they had in high school, and for the men from Australia, the game was another chance to spread the excitement of this sport to areas where it is little known.

Both teams succeeded, but next time we’ll hope for much better weather!